30 August 2013

Things I'm Loving 30.8.13

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.

Are you sitting comfortably? You'd better get comfy cos it's a cracker of a list this week!

Crazies on croc bikes
Loving spending time with our beautiful Nikki who is now winging her way back to London *sad face*. Loving that we got to hang out loads while she was here, and that last Sunday we fulfilled her life-long desire to ride a croc bike.

It turns out Wellington has had its warmest winter on record, and it's really been such a non-event of a winter (one crazy storm and 2 crazy earthquakes aside that is) so it's no wonder we found ourselves cruising the waterfront in short sleeves on a 'winters' day.

We hired the larger version of croc bike and scared the bejeepers out of everyone on the waterfront with our crazy antics and raucous laughter - I swear Nikki has the most infectious laugh ever - we nearly ran over several children on scooters - thank goodness Mark kept us somewhat under control!

It was a whale of an afternoon. And thankfully it's not that long until we will see Nikki again as we'll be camping out at her place for a night or two when we take the kids for a trip to London baby!

Mylo's mouse
Love it when kids pictures turn into more than just lines and circles and actually start to look a little bit like something! This is Mylo's mouse.

It's taken its rightful place with my other favourite artwork on the kitchen wall.

Daddy's hot dogs
Love it how Daddy comes up with cool dinner treats for the boys that look authentic to boot.

Loving it even more that Mylo had no clue it was corn-fed chicken in his frankfurter - ha ha. He has a thing about chicken and beef - mostly because he finds it chewy - so it's always great to sneak one past him.

Noah aka Roz
Love how this guy can crack me up. The other night we were minding our own business at the dinner table when out popped Roz from Monsters Inc. I laughed so hard and then had to get him to repeat it so this is Take 2.

High tea
Loving getting out the good china for no good reason other than why not?! We don't do it enough and we shouldn't always keep our good stuff for a special occasion - after all isn't every day special? Loving the gluten-free goodies that adorned our high tea too.


 Meerkat vs Mere Cat
Loved this picture. Tickles my fancy.

 One of these things is not like the other
How is it possible that my son left the house, went to church and it was only on the way out of church getting in the lift to come home that any of us noticed this - including him?!


Worn to death
It matters not to me that my son looks like a total gypsy - yes I know I could darn the heck out of those knees. But he could care less and I kinda love his holey look - a look made even more special with the socks he was wearing pulled up nearly to his knees and that also have holes in them.

And on that note, I bid you adieu. 

Accompanied by a cursory farewell to Winter and a big resounding welcome to Spring - I'll see you on the other side next week!

Here's how you can join in this week:

Link up below with your blog post telling us what you're loving, and grab the Things I'm Loving button below for your post too. Don't forget to share the love by visiting all the other lovelies who have joined in - the linky is open till same time next week!

28 August 2013

Sleeping Queens - Game Review

We were given the fantastic and addictive Sleeping Queens card game by our friends when we looked after their kids a few weeks ago. It's an engaging family game, but equally fun just for 2 players.

And boy has it been played and played and played and played and then played some more. A sign of a great game for me is when kids are playing it over and over every day.

The instructions state that it's for Ages 8 and up but Mylo at age nearly 4 is happily understanding the concepts and even winning his own fair share of games.

The aim of the game is to 'wake up' all the Sleeping Queens, and the player with the most points once the queens have all been woken up is the winner.

Here's the basic rules of how to play:

  • Each player is dealt 5 playing cards and must ensure they have 5 cards in their hand throughout the game, so every time you put down a card you pick another one up
  • The 12 different queens start the game placed face-down on the table. Each queen has a different points value, and some have other special attributes. More on that later.
  • On your turn you play one card. 
  • If you play a king, you can wake up a queen. This then stays face up by you.
  • If you play a knight, you may steal someone else's queen - unless they have a dragon in their hand which prevents the queen being stolen.

  • If you play a sleeping potion, you may return someone else's queen face down back to the middle of the table where it becomes available for anyone else to take in the future - unless the person has a wand in their hand which deflects the sleeping potion.
  • If you play a jester, you may pick up one card. If it is a picture card, you keep this for your next turn. If if is a number card, you count out the number of points around the players starting with yourself. For example, if it is a 4 and you are playing with yourself and 2 others, you would say '1' to yourself, '2' to the next person, '3' to the next person, and then '4' back to yourself. Whoever the number lands on may pick up a queen.
  • If you have number cards in your hand, you may play a single number and draw a new card.
  • If you hold doubles of the same number value, you may play both and draw 2 more cards. 
  • If you can make a sum, you can play as many cards as you wish to make a sum. For example, if you hold a 4, 6 and 10, you may put all three down stating 4+6=10 (or 10-4=6) and then draw three new cards to your hand.

Once the final sleeping queen has been awakened, players count up the value of the queens in front of them, and the player with the highest points wins.

I not only love the uniqueness of this game, but also the beautifully illustrated cards. The Queens are all named something different, i.e. the Rose Queen (special as you can wake another queen straight away if you pick this one up), the Pancake Queen, the Starfish Queen, the Dog Queen, the Cat Queen etc.

The kings are all named differently too - Puzzle King, Chess King, Tie-Dye King etc.

And like the catch-phrase says - it certainly is a 'royally rousing card game'.

This would make a great birthday or Christmas present for a little person in your life and can be found online at stores such as IQ Toys

N.B. I was not paid or given this product to review - the opinions are entirely my own based on the enjoyment our family has had from playing it over and over!

26 August 2013

When dreams and reality collide...

You may have noticed (or not) it's been much quieter than usual around these here parts.

Work is busy. And life is even busier.

There's a full-on new-to-me job that zaps my time and energy. It feels like I'm travelling at 100 miles an hour every day and then some. Then there's the fact I somehow have ended up Treasurer of the trust at school in a voluntary position that's taking up a whole lot more of my almost non-existent leisure time and energy in the handover and transition from the previous trustees. Not to mention there's still creche sessions to plan, a 4th birthday party to organise, and a month long overseas trip to prepare for. And that's just in the next month.

The thing that is frustrating the heck outta me right now is that I've been feeling more passionate than I've ever been before about taking my blogging and photography onto bigger and better things.

To one day turn this into a real-life full-time love affair.

That's it. I've done it. Said it. Put it out there.

My dream in black and white.

But right now I feel as if my dream is getting further away each day and not closer. And to be honest it's a bit depressing.

This weekend I'm going to Wellington Blog Camp - I can't wait. I just know I'm going to learn a whole heap of inspiring stuff. I just hope I don't come away feeling even more depressed about the lack of time I have right now to put all the fantastic learning into practice.

im going to BlogCamp

The rational, practical me keeps telling myself how lucky I am to have such a well paying job and career. And that I would be foolish to ever trade it in for a creative whim after spending 6 long years studying to get qualified in the first place.

The other side of me says you only live once and why shouldn't I follow my heart and my dreams.

It's an internal battle I have with myself a lot of these days. A battle that I never seem to get any closer to resolving.

On mornings when I pick up the camera and take shots like these, it's like sweet nothings being whispered in my ear. And it feels as if my dream is taunting me, tantalising and still entirely out of reach.

Have you ever faced a dilemma like this?

What did you choose? To follow the rational 'head' choice or follow your dreams and make a 'heart' choice? Did you make a conscious decision or did you simply let the ebb and flow of life eventually choose for you?

I'm not really expecting to resolve this desperate clash of worlds anytime soon, I just wanted to be honest with myself here. And sometimes writing it down instead of merely battling over it internally is incredibly cathartic and feels like what I need.

25 August 2013

On the field

While Daddy and Noah are still busy with the winter football season winding up, I've been taking Mylo along to this season of Little Dribblers football which is on Saturday mornings as well.

Last season he played Sunday afternoons in Karori and at times the competition was a bit lacking. I think in one game he'd scored 11 goals by half-time.

He'd done an earlier season before Christmas at this venue that we've come back to and we'd felt it was a far better run franchise so thought we'd give it another go.

The first five minutes or so are skills based where they play games like traffic light (green light = run fast, orange light = slow dribbling, red light = stop and put your foot on the ball).

Then they get into a game of about 10 minutes each side.

Some of the kids Mylo ends up playing against are up to a year if not two older than him.

Which I think is great experience for him. Having some real competition that is.

I can't remember if he's even scored a goal in the 3 weeks he's been playing. Maybe one at most. It doesn't matter in the slightest.

He's happy enough to take his turn in goal.

Although I do have to remind him from time to time to keep his eye on the ball - it's all too easy to be distracted by the prospect of swinging on the bar.

Me - I just get distracted by how cool my gumboots look every time I look at my feet.

He's still using that great left foot as these photos clearly show - as well it would appear having the ability to kick with his eyes closed.

Love that they make an effort to show sportsmanship with high fives afterwards too.

You can certainly see the height difference between Mylo and some of these much older girls.

Love the warm mild winter weather we've had for these first few weeks of the season, especially as I can clearly remember the spring season here last year being not for the faint of heart with the good old northerly fair ripping through the grounds each week and nearly knocking the wee kids off their feet.

Despite the fact having two lots of football and swimming makes for a very busy Saturday in our house, I wouldn't trade that for the opportunity to see this little guy out there in the sunshine running and kicking his little heart out.

Reason #1231 to love being a mum.

23 August 2013

Things I'm Loving 23.8.13

I wholeheartedly believe that no matter what is happening in your life, there is always something you can be thankful for..no matter how simple it is.

Sleeping Queens
We got given this fantastic new game called Sleeping Queens when we had our friends' kids to stay. I'd never heard of it before but it really is captivating. It says for Ages 8 and up but Mylo is playing it quite happily. There will be a game review to come on this one methinks!

Lighter days
Spring is definitely coming. Loving that my drive into work is no longer in the pitch black and I'm getting to see some lovely mornings - this one from the roof of the carpark at Westfield - the carpark in the basement was out of action for a couple of days while they repaired some glass after the earthquake so it's been rather lovely having this view for a couple of days when I step out of the car.

Captivated by the kowhai
If you are feeling a sense of deja vu you'd be right - I did post a similar video just last week. But I couldn't help myself. It's a mesmerising sight and sound for the senses - the amazing yellow kowhai flowers and these beautiful creatures in their element.

Creche kids
God has definitely put a heart for the kids at church on me. Loving being able to work the stories of the Bible in amongst some crafting and story reading. The past couple of weeks I've focused on Noah's ark - last week we made some snake puppets and coloured in rainbows with 'God keeps his promises'. We also read one of my favourite books from home 'All Afloat on Noah's Boat' - a very fun rendition of how the animals all misbehaved on the ark and then managed to put aside their differences to put on a talent show.


This coming week we're going to make a Noah's ark mobile - like the one pictured here. Love being able to serve these kids - love this age group - age 2-5 is probably my favourite age group for kids - just love love love it. So if I could find a way to by-pass the baby stage and have an instant 2 year old I would definitely contemplate more kids!

Disney princess vs Instagram
Love these funny made-up Instagram posts based on Disney Princesses first seen over on Brigitte's Facebook (Stay At Home Mamma). Very clever and apt. Can't decide which one is my favourite. Definitely worth checking them out over at http://mashable.com/2013/08/14/disney-princess-instagram/.

Being prepared
I'm a little ashamed to admit it's taken 2 big earthquakes for me to get my act together at work - but at least I now have a few provisions in my bottom drawer - including a tin opener! I made sure the muesli bars won't expire for a whole year either. And there's now a spare pair of shoes under my desk in case I was ever forced to walk the 20km back to town - it wouldn't be an option in work shoes that's for sure! And I was motivated further by the fact that Countdown has $1 on Watties baked beans and spaghetti tins this week!

I hope that whatever you have planned for your weekend, it is full of fun, family and friends!

Here's how you can join in this week:

Link up below with your blog post telling us what you're loving, and grab the Things I'm Loving button below for your post too. Don't forget to share the love by visiting all the other lovelies who have joined in - the linky is open till same time next week!


Related Posts with Thumbnails